President Susan Hockfield announced today that she has appointed Professor L. Rafael Reif as provost of MIT, succeeding Robert A. Brown, who is leaving MIT to become president of Boston University. Reif's appointment will be effective Aug. 1.
In making the announcement, Hockfield said, "Professor Reif has held leadership positions at MIT for much of his 25 years on the faculty and is widely regarded as a deeply thoughtful, collaborative leader. His early championing of MIT's engagement in micro- and nanotechnologies, his concern for the broader impact of those technologies on society, his engagement with industry and government on both technical and policy matters in this country and abroad, his guidance on a wide range of policy matters at the school and Institute level, and his outstanding teaching and student mentorship all promise to serve MIT very well. I am delighted that he has agreed to take on this new responsibility and look forward to working with him to increase MIT's great strengths."
Commenting on his appointment, Reif said, "It is a tremendous honor and responsibility to be the provost of this university. I am thrilled at the prospect of working with President Hockfield and the faculty to help create the MIT of the future, building on the remarkable history of this institution."
The provost is the senior academic officer of the Institute, with overall responsibility for MIT's educational and research programs, as well as for faculty development, including the recruitment, promotion and tenure processes. As provost, Reif will work closely with the academic deans to establish academic priorities on an ongoing basis. Working with the executive vice president and other senior officers, he will have responsibility for financial planning to meet those priorities. The provost is also responsible for the libraries and for a number of major interdisciplinary laboratories, centers and programs on campus, as well as Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington.
Reif, an internationally recognized researcher and educator in microelectronics, has been head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science since September 2004, following more than five years as associate head for electrical engineering. Prior to that, from 1990 to 1999, he was director of MIT's Microsystems Technology Laboratories, an interdepartmental enterprise involving faculty, students and senior staff from throughout the Institute.
Reif received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the Universidad de Carabobo, Valencia, Venezuela, in 1973, and his doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1979. The following year, he joined the MIT faculty, and he currently holds the Maseeh Professorship in Emerging Technology. His current research is on three-dimensional integrated circuit technologies and on environmentally benign microelectronics fabrication.
Reif is a fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers and is a member of Tau Beta Pi and the Electrochemical Society. In 2000, he received the Semiconductor Research Corp.'s Aristotle Award for outstanding teaching and student mentorship.
Reif and his wife, Christine, live in Newton. They have a daughter, Jessica, and a son, Blake.